Last Update: Thursday, April 17, 2014
|Apps That Can Help You Stick To Your New Year's Resolutions|
|Written by Gabriela Almendarez|
|Thursday, 02 January 2014 00:00|
You have survived yet another holiday season and the many social gatherings that comes along with it. While eating traditional meals with your family or having drinks with your coworkers, you probably gave the approaching New Year some thought. I set resolutions to lose weight and exercise more every single year. In the first early months you can find me on the elliptical or on the treadmill. But by mid-May I am studying inside a library, my fitness resolutions long behind me. I know that I am not the only one who loses motivation and thinks time is far too valuable to waste. Many of you have school or jobs, and families to raise.
Your resolutions for 2014 might be the same ones you had last year: eat healthier, lose weight, run more, or spend less money. Why not change your approach to those goals? Smartphones are changing the way in which we communicate and interact, whether you are texting, emailing or updating your Facebook status. Besides checking up on your friends, your Smartphone can be turned into a fitness, weight loss, health, and financial tool to help you keep your resolutions – even in that hectic life of yours. This is where apps like Workout Trainer come in handy. Whether you only have five or twenty minutes to exercise, this app will match workouts to your lifestyle.
By Fitbit, Inc.
RATINGS Android: 3.5 iOS: 4.5
Track your daily goals and progress over time for steps, distance, calories burned and more. Log food to see how many calories you consume each day, and manage your weight over time.
Pros: Fitbit lets you create a meal plan and track water intake.
Cons: The Fitbit apps works better if you use it with the Fitbit Flex.
The bottom line: If you do not mind logging water intake or even purchasing the Flex band, this app is
By Skimble Inc.
RATINGS Android: 4.4 iOS: 4.5
Find exercises with timed, step-by-step audio, photo and video instructions complete with encouragement! Whether you’re doing bodyweight workouts at home or lifting weights at the gym, Skimble’s Workout Trainer is the ultimate fitness companion.
Pros: Workout Trainer categorizes workouts based on intensity and time and also provides visuals for reference.
Cons: Only opens workout where network is available.
The bottom line: This is a great app for those who workout at home. Since you do not need equipment, Workout Trainer lets you decide what to do.
See detailed stats around your pace, distance, time, and calories burned. Get stats, progress, and coaching through your headphones with built-in audio cues. Measure your heart rate with many available sensors.
Pros: Besides keeping track of your activities, Run Keeper provides statistics and lets you log in other workouts.
Cons: Users have reported annoyance with the voice over.
The bottom line: If you can get over the voice over, Run Keeper is great to track your daily activities and gather the statistical information of such activities.
Watching your weight is easier with apps like Healthy- Out, an app that will match local and fast food restaurants with your dietary or nutritional needs. The Fooducate app will make you more knowledgeable about the food you consume by providing a letter grade to the product and explaining the reasons why. Working out and staying healthy may not top your resolutions list. Perhaps you’re more interested in keeping better track of your expenses or saving money. An app like Mint.com uses your financial accounts to break down your expenses and shine a light on what you can cut back on.
Fooducate grades your food, explains what's really inside each product, and offers healthier alternatives. We've got the largest database of UPC-based nutrition information - over 200,000 unique products and growing.
Pros: Scans products barcode with camera for a detailed description of what really is inside.
Cons: If you do not have a barcode to scan, sometimes manually searching for a product might be troubling. The bottom line: If you want to be more aware of what is your food, Fooducate is your to-go app.
Identify your pills, find the lowest price for your Rx, understand your medication treatment, lower your health bill.
Pros: Easy to use interface with detailed and organized information.
Cons: Strictly text-based; iPharmacy could use some photos to illustrate drug prescriptions.
The bottom line: With an easy to use interface, iPharmacy provides description of pharmacies and drug information.
Instant Heart Rate
RATINGS Android: 4.4 iOS: 4.5
Instant Heart Rate uses your phones built-in camera to track color changes on the fingertip that are directly linked to your pulse. This is the same technique that medical pulse oximeters use.
Pros: Very quick reading of your heart rate.
Cons: You would need to know beforehand where your heart rate should be.
The bottom line: If you do not mind doing a little research yourself, this app would be helpful to know your heart rate at any given moment.
Weight Watching /Diet
RATINGS Android: 4.2 iOS: 4.2
HealthyOut finds you dishes at local restaurants that match your diet and nutrition preferences. We make it easy to eat healthy and stay on your diet when you're eating out!
Pros: Many filters to best help match your needs. We like the “Not a Salad” filter.
Cons: May not take all dietary needs into consideration since suggestions are formulated algorithmically.
The bottom line: HealthyOut makes it easy and convenient to search for modified dishes that are both healthy and delicious.
By Fit Now Inc.
Lose It! helps you set a daily calorie budget, track your food and exercise, and stay motivated to make smarter choices and achieve your goal.
Pros: User friendly app that gives you a set calorie budget and subtracts from it as you log food in.
Cons: Does not list a couple of brand named foods.
The bottom line: Lose It! is a great app for keeping a basic food log for those trying to lose weight.
Our Recipes and Nutrition app is your solution. It is both an amazing recipe finder and the only place where you can compare and select over a million recipes from hundreds of web-sites for calorie, diet and nutrition information.
Pros: Provides full recipes and nutritional information.
Cons: There is no option to save your favorite recipes.
The bottom line: Despite not being able to save a recipe, this app is helpful in searching new recipes that adhere to your needs.
ShopSavvy (Barcode Scanner and QR Code Reader)
ShopSavvy is making shopping simpler, easier and more fun than ever before! With a super sleek design and more merchants and products than any other app, ShopSavvy helps you find the best online and local prices, reliable product info, and a way to shop anywhere you want.
Pros: Compares product prices with the likes of Amazon with those of local chain stores.
Cons: There are popup ads.
The bottom line: If you can get past the ads, ShopSavvy is a must download to find lower prices for the items you want to buy.
Expensify - Expense Reports, Receipts, Mileage, Time
Expensify makes capturing receipts, tracking time or mileage, business travel and creating expense reports quick and easy. Expensify takes the time, paper, and headaches out of your expense reports!
Pros: Takes picture of your receipts and lets you categorize it into sections.
Cons: If you are going to send a report of your expenses to someone, it will charge the person receiving it $5.
The bottom line: Expensify might be more effective for small business owners. Nonetheless, this app can help individuals with many expenses keep track of them.
Mint.com Personal Finance
See all your personal finance accounts—checking, savings, and credit cards. Automatically categorizes transactions. Track your budget. Track your cash spending.
Pros: Breaks down your spending into categories and gives you advice on ways to save money.
Cons: Mint seems to have trouble identifying joint accounts as one single account.
The bottom line: Hiring an accountant to help keep track of expenses is expensive. Using Mint.com is free and you can take it anywhere.
The apps highlighted here come from a vast variety found on the popular pages of iTunes and Google Play, and were chosen based on popularity, ratings, and our own personal interaction with them. Though these apps fall under fitness, weight watching, health, and financial categories, there are hundreds more that can be used to accomplish something this New Year. The app descriptions are provided by the developers.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 02 January 2014 18:29|